Blocked drains are incredibly annoying. No one likes watching tepid water just sitting in their sink slowly draining away. But more than just being annoying, blocked drains can also create some real problems. Water that gets stuck in blocked pipes stagnates and can lead to unpleasant and unhealthy odours. Water can also leak into your home’s corners and foundations and weaken the structure. That’s not to mention discolouration, warping, and the fact that stagnant water attracts mosquitoes and other pests.
How to Unblock a Clogged Drain
Many ordinary things can lead to a blocked drain so it’s likely you’ll have to deal with the problem at some point. We’ve created a quick how-to guide to help you. The first step is to come prepared. Before you start to tackle your blocked sink, you’ll need:
- Protective glasses and gloves
- A dishcloth
- Some baking soda and white vinegar
- Some soda crystals
- A large bowl or a bucket
- A plunger
Our Step-By-Step Guide
Once you’re all set, just follow these steps and the problem should be in hand soon:
- Unscrew the Plug
First, you’ll need to unscrew the plug. Next, have a good look in the plughole and clean out any bits of debris or grime that might be stuck in the plughole.
- Seal up the Plughole
Make sure the plughole is covered in water so you’ll have an airtight seal for the plunger.
- Block the Overflow
Use a dishcloth to plug up the overflow – again, making sure you’ve got an airtight seal.
- Grab the Plunger
Place the plunger over the plughole so that it covers it and gently push the plunger up and down. You might need to hold the dishcloth tightly against the overflow to ensure a good seal.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar
Hopefully, a little plunging has managed to clear the blocked sink. But if it hasn’t, you can try pouring a small amount of baking soda down the plughole, followed by a cup of white vinegar.
- Flush with Hot Water
You should be able to see or hear some fizzing as the baking soda and vinegar work to break down debris and grime. After a few minutes, you can simply wash the mixture through the drain with some hot water from the tap.
- Soda Crystals to the Rescue
Alternatively, you can dissolve half a packet of soda crystals into some boiling water, and then pour this solution down the plughole. This will help remove any fats, grease, or soap residues that may have built up.
- Find the U-bend
If your sink is still not unblocking you may need to remove and clean out the U-bend. Just look for the first bend in the pipe underneath the sink. You’ll need to place a large bowl or bucket under the U-bend to catch any water that spills out – and it will – so be ready!
- Loosen the U-bend
Carefully unscrew the plastic fitting where the U-bend joins the bottom of the sink. Once you see water start to drip out, stop unscrewing and let all of the water drain into the bowl or bucket.
- Check the U-bend
Once it’s drained, you can remove the U-bend completely and take a look inside. Pull out any objects or built-up debris that you can find – wearing gloves, of course – and then reattach the clean U-bend to the bottom of the sink.
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